A study was done where men with idiopathic infertility (unknown cause) received acupuncture twice a week for five weeks; at the end of the study, both the percentage and number of healthy sperm in each man had significantly increased.
The combined results of seven clinical trials showed that combining IVF embryo transfer with acupuncture led to a 65% increase in successful implantation, and and a 91% increase in the likelihood of a live birth.
By reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels, acupuncture has been shown to reduce the number of ovarian cysts, stimulate ovulation, enhance blastocyst implantation and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009).
Acupuncture has been shown to affect hormone levels by promoting the release of beta-endorphin in the brain, which affects the release of gonadotrophin releasing hormone by the hypothalamus, follicle stimulating hormone from the pituitary gland, and oestrogen and progesterone levels from the ovary (Ng 2008, Huang 2008, Lim 2010, Stener-Victorin 2010).
Acupuncture increases blood flow to the uterus (Stener-Victorin 1996, Huang 2008), improving the thickness of the endometrial lining and increasing the chances of embryo implantation.